Fine Pens & Watches on June 20th

MONTBLANC: Duomo di Milano 18K Gold Limited Edition Skeleton Fountain Pen

On Thursday, June 20th, PBA Galleries will offer an auction of almost 350 lots of rare and unusual fine writing instruments. The lots include both modern and vintage pens, including exceptional examples from Montblanc, Montegrappa, OMAS, Namiki, Parker, Pelikan and more. PBA will have a selection of fine watches, including examples from Montblanc, Audemars Piguet, Girard Perregaux, Alain Silberstein and others.

The sale features several of the most coveted Montblanc writing instruments including those which pay homage to people or places. The Duomo di Milano 18K Gold Limited Edition Skeleton Fountain Pen is a stunning tribute to the Duomo di Milano, resplendent in 18K white gold overlay skeletonized in emulation of the cathedral’s spires, columns, and flying buttresses. #59 of only 86 pens produced, details include finely engraved tracery, a sapphire set in the clip, and a luminous mother-of-pearl captop star ($15,000-$25,000). The James Watt 18K Gold Limited Edition Skeleton Fountain Pen is a tribute to Scotsman James Watt, whose engineering innovations powered the industrial revolution, and thus incorporates an oversized flywheel motif and is also #39 of only 183 ($20,000-$25,000).

Other Montblanc rarities include the Cristobal Colon 18K Gold Toledo Limited Edition Fountain, which is #31 of 92 produced of Montblanc’s most impressive limited editions. This Toledo-style pen was released predominantly to the European market in 2008, and very few examples were made available to collectors in the U.S. and other markets ($12,000-$18,000). The Hundertwasser 18K Gold Limited Edition Fountain Pen is an 18K gold fountain pen, with multicolored stones studding the captop, which embraces the spirit of artist/architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s work ($10,000-$15,000). The No. 12 ROUGE et NOIR “Goliath” Black Hard Rubber Safety Filler Fountain Pen, c. 1910, is an extremely rare, fascinating and significant Montblanc pen which may possibly be unique ($20,000-$30,000).

PBA will also offer select Omas pens, including the Legni Pregiati Collection Limited Edition Set of Fountain Pens. This fascinating complete set of 15 piston-filler fountain pens is fashioned from exotic woods from various nations; each pen is #16 of 500 ($5000-$8000). The Mandela Collection Lot includes seven limited edition fountain pens in platinum, 18K gold, and sterling silver each of which represents a different chapter of Mandela’s life and is #16 within its limitation ($10,000-$15,000).

Other standout lots include Montegrappa’s Dragon Restyle 18K Yellow Gold and White Diamonds Limited Edition Fountain Pen. The artist’s proof ultra-limited version of Montegrappa’s most successful design represents Montegrappa’s greatest achievements in pen design ($30,000-$50,000).The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction by appointment with IvanBriggs by emailing [email protected]. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

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Fine Books & Manuscripts – Food and Drink on May 30th

On May 30, 2019, PBA Galleries will offer an auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts – Food and Drink. Significantly, the auction is the first to be held in PBA Galleries’ new location at 605 Addison Street in Berkeley. On the auction block will be over 400 lots of rare, valuable, curious, and unusual material from all centuries and all lands, ranging from sober religious tomes to groundbreaking works on science and natural history, Winston Churchill to Oscar Wilde, with fine bindings and sets, fine cookery, illuminated manuscripts, captivating illustrated books, early printed books, photographs, and more.

Engraved plates of citrus fruits and plants

PBA Galleries is pleased to offer significant food and drink material, from artwork to artifacts and cookbooks. Of particular note is one of the first Creole cookbooks (1885) from the Christian Woman’s Exchange of New Orleans. The book is considered one of the founding scriptures for the Creole tradition ($3,000-$5,000). Another standout lot is the bound collection of 219 engraved plates of citrus fruits and plants, with backgrounds featuring Nuremberg and surrounding areas, from Johann Christoph Volkamer’s Nürbergisches Hesperides and its Continuation, 1708-1714 ($20,000-$30,000).

Rare signed and inscribed 20th-century materials are expected to garner spirited bidding. On the auction block will be Winston Churchill’s The World Crisis, his 6-volume history of the First World War, inscribed to former British Prime Minister H.H. Asquith in the second volume. This volume is the one describing Asquith’s sacking of Churchill as First Sea Lord following the debacle at Gallipoli ($10,000-$15,000). 20th-century history will also be represented by the rare copy of An American Genius: The Life of Ernest Orlando Lawrence, signed by over 40 scientists, veterans of the Manhattan Project, laboratory staff, and others. Ten of the signers are Nobel laureates, from when they gathered at the opening ceremonies at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, in 1968 ($5,000-$8,000). PBA anticipates particularly competitive bidding over the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” first edition, fifth printing, inscribed by author Bill Wilson in 1942, the year of publication, to Lawrence Kolb, Assistant Surgeon General who specialized in treatment of narcotics addicts ($5,000-$8,000).

Historically significant materials from dance to photography will be featured. PBA is proud to offer Anna Pavlova, one of 300 copies, the first edition in English of Valerian Svetloff’s exquisite tribute to the Russian prima ballerina, superbly illustrated in color and photogravure, this copy signed by Pavlova (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500). Original photographs from Egypt will be on the auction block as well. An exceptional album of 89 albumen photographs of Egypt, c.1870-90, primarily by J.P. Sebah, featuring many unusual views of peddlers, tradespeople, laborers, women, cafes, rug merchants, female students, and more is a standout lot ($2,000-$3,000).

Other featured lots include the Manuscript scroll of Book of Esther. The Illustrated Hebrew manuscript scroll of the Book of Esther, likely 19th century, measures about 18 feet in length, on soft sheepskin vellum, comprising around 29 panels each of which has a hand-painted scene at the bottom, decorations at the sides and tops ($4,000-$6,000). A more modern, yet exciting lot is the treatise on vampires, Dissertazione sopra i vampiri, by Giuseppe Davanzati (1774). This rare, posthumously published treatise was written by the Italian Catholic patriarch and only exists in 7 known copies held in institutions ($1,500-$2,500).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29th and 30th from 9am-5pm, and Thursday, May 30th from 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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Travel & Exploration, World History, and Cartography on April 18th

On Thursday, April 18th, PBA Galleries will offer a sale of Travel & Exploration, World History, and Cartography. On the auction block, PBA has over 300 lots of scarce and significant material on travels to the far reaches of the globe, and the mapping of the geographic discoveries made. Included are maps, books, photographs, manuscripts, and more, with an important selection of atlases and geographies, and numerous individual maps from the 16th to 20th centuries.

Massive Atlas Universel from Robert de Vaugondy

Massive Atlas Universel from Robert de Vaugondy

The auction features rare atlases, both massive and miniature. A noteworthy lot is the large folio Atlas Universel by Gilles and Didier Robert De Vaugondy (1757-1758). The superb copy includes the full complement of 108 double-page engraved maps hand-colored in outline and bound in period full mottled calf ($15,000-$25,000). On the other side of the scale spectrum, PBA offers a scarce copy of Abraham Ortelius’ Epitome Theatre Orbis Terrarum (1612), a charming miniature atlas with 134 of the requisite 135 maps, lacking only that of Silesia ($5,000-$8,000).

Scarce 17th and 18th-century maps and travel narratives are well-represented in the auction. Of particular significance is Ptolemy’s Geographia (1621), edited by Giovanni Magnini and extended with the addition of 37 “modern” maps, including the inserted double-page reduced version of Rumold Mercator’s world map that is often lacking ($8,000-$12,000). From the 18th-century, the four-volume first octavo edition of the account of James Cook’s third and final voyage (1784) is available: This edition includes two folding charts and 49 impeccable copperplate engravings ($2,000-$3,000). Other highlights from the period include A Journey from Gibraltar to Malaga by Francis Carter in two volumes (1777), which chronicles the author’s journey through Moorish Spain ($2,000-$3,000).

Jigsaw block puzzles of eighteen maps circa 1900

Jigsaw block puzzles of eighteen maps circa 1900

The auction does not only feature books and maps, but also presents artifacts and photographs. A geographical puzzle ca. 1900 includes 90 wooden blocks combining to form some 18 maps, all set in the original wooden box ($1,000-$1,500). In travel photography, PBA offers a collection of sixteen photographs relating to Ernest Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition (1907-1909), plus a photograph of him with Queen Alexandra from 1914 ($3,000-$5,000).

Other cartographic highlights include a brightly colored manuscript map of the world, perhaps of Turkish origin, with California depicted as an island and insets of the Strait of Gibraltar and the Sea of Marmara ($2,000-$3,000). From Girolamo Ruscelli’s 1561 edition of Ptolemy, the Orbis Descriptio will be on the auction block: This map represents the first time a separate double-hemisphere world map had been used in an atlas, with striking later hand-coloring ($1,000-$1,500).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, April 15th from 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 16th and 17th from 9am-5pm, and Thursday, April 18th from 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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PBA Auction Highlights: Art & Illustration – Prints & Graphics – Illustrated Books – Miscellanea

April 5, 2019 – PBA Galleries saw enthusiastic and spirited bidding in their April 4th 2019 auction of Art & Illustration – Prints & Graphics – Illustrated Books – Miscellanea. The auction celebrated the centennial of the Bauhaus art school (1919-1933) in Weimar, Germany, a groundbreaking modernist movement which profoundly influenced art, architecture, graphic design, and typography. The Bauhaus school was famous for its approach to the “total” work of art (Gesamtkunstwerk) in which crafts, fine arts, and architecture melded seamlessly together. In honor of that impactful artistic cohesion, PBA Galleries brought together various works of fine art from the 19th century to modern and contemporary styles, each lot carefully curated for its own unique contribution to its respective genre.

Bauhaus comes to America

Bauhaus comes to America

Formulation : Articulation by Josef Albers,one of 1000 copies, sold for $13,200. Albers, a Bauhaus emigré, supervised the production of this work during his tenure at Yale University, selecting each work and arranging their order into a collection of 127 colorful screenprints. Other Bauhaus standouts included  prints by Herbert Bayer, the cutting-edge master of the school’s printing department. Bayer remains best-known for his development of “Universal,” the sans-serif, exclusively lower-case typeface., His prints garnered competitive bidding, as the signed lithograph Event brought $510.

Other pioneering art schools in the auction included the pop art movement, well-represented by lots from influential British artist David Hockney. Spirited bidding took place over two Hockney etchings, both from his series for Fourteen Poems from C.P. Cavafy. A striking full-frontal male nude illustration, In an Old Book, fetched far above its estimated price selling for $4,800. Hockney’s other etching, [Two Boys Aged 23 or 24] also exceeded expectations realizing $5,700, a testament to the value of Hockney’s enduring influence.

Bidders had the opportunity to purchase from dozens of fine press books with fascinating illustrations. The Apocalypse: The Revelation of Saint John the Divine, an artist book by Jim Dine published by Arion Press exemplified a unity of compelling content and provenance: Not only does the book include 29 spectacular woodblock prints by Dine, but this was Arion Press printer Glenn Todd’s personal copy. The sale price spoke to this unique value, realizing $3,300.

Other standout lots included I Have a dream by Charles White (1918-1979), a superb mid-century artist famous for civil activism and his images of historical and contemporary African-Americans. PBA offered one of White’s most significant lithographs, which was commissioned by the Graphic Arts Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to coincide with their exhibition “Two Centuries of Black American Art,” held in 1976. The signed lithograph was estimated at $2,000/3,000 and the hammer fell at $4,200.

PBA Galleries was pleased with the success of the auction and is preparing for their next auction of prints and graphics. PBA Galleries holds sales of fine, rare and collectible books as well as other works on paper every two weeks and invites consignments for all upcoming sales.  For more information regarding upcoming sales, consignments, or auction results, please contact PBA Galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

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Art & Illustration, Prints & Graphics, Illustrated Books, and Miscellanea on April 4th

On Thursday, April 4th, PBA Galleries will offer a sale of Art & Illustration, Prints & Graphics, Illustrated Books, and Miscellanea. The auction will feature over 260 lots featuring the styles of high modernism in art and design. Represented are the schools of Orphism, Bauhaus, Op Art, Pop Art, and COBRA. Included are paintings drawings, prints, artist’s books, works by classic illustrators and more.

Bauhaus comes to America

Bauhaus comes to America

On the auction block will be limited-edition prints, artist’s books, and etchings. Highlights include Formation : Articulation (1972), a lovely complete set of color screen prints by influential Bauhaus emigre Josef Albers, who taught Robert Rauschenberg, Eva Hesse, Cy Twombley, and Max Bill. ($10,000-$15,000). Also in the sale will be an early artist’s book from Enrique Chagoya. The Bread of Days / El Pan de los Dias from the Yolla Bolly Press is one of 12 books produced with a suite of twelve unbound etchings by Chagoya ($3,000-$5,000). David Hockney’s In an Old Book, a signed etching inspired by poet C.P. Cavafy, is one of only 75 ($2,000-$3,000).

Illustrated fine press books include Jamie Baldridge’s fantastical The Everywhere Chronicles, a surrealistic steam-punk powered flight of the imagination in a deluxe folio from 21st Editions ($3,000-$5,000). Artist Jim Dine’s dream of the Apocalypse is printed by Arion Press in The Apocalypse. The Revelation of Saint John. The Last Book of the New Testament. Strikingly realized with 29 woodblock prints by the artist, the book is one of 15 hors de commerce copies ($3,000-$5,000).

Deluxe folio from 21st Editions

Deluxe folio from 21st Editions

Other artwork in the auction includes John James Audubon’s Uria Brunnicii, or Thick-Billed Mulle, plate ccxlv from the double elephant folio edition of The Birds of America ($3,000-$5,000). From Salinas to Broadway, PBA Galleries will offer eight original gouache paintings and three posters – variant trial versions of a theater poster for Oscar Serlin’s play based on John Steinbeck’s The Moon is Down ($3,000-$5,000).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, April 1st from 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 2-3rd from 9am-5pm, and Thursday, April 4th from 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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Fine Literature on March 21st

On Thursday, March 21st, PBA Galleries will offer a sale of Fine Literature. In the auction will be over 350 lots of literary rarities and good reads, mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries. Included are high spots of fiction, groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy, compelling tales of mystery and detection, poetry, and more. Represented are James Baldwin, Richard Brautigan, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, Larry McMurtry, Ayn Rand, John Steinbeck, George Sterling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mark Twain, Jack Vance, and many others.

 Leonard Cohen’s rare first book, inscribed

Leonard Cohen’s rare first book, inscribed

The sale features works with rare signatures or inscriptions by the author. Poet/singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen’s rare first book, Let Us Compare Mythologies, is inscribed by the author with the year of publication ($8,000-$12,000). PBA Galleries has a presentation copy of Ayn Rand’s seminal Atlas Shrugged, inscribed and signed by the author on the front endpaper in a sixth printing in the original dust jacket ($1,500-$2,500). Each poem in a significant collection of 68 typed poems by George Sterling is signed in ink by the poet, some with ink corrections or alterations in his hand ($2,000-$3,000).

Scarce first editions of 19th-century novels will be on the auction. The section includes Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope in three volumes, the first issue of the first edition of one of the author’s most important novels in the original cloth ($1,500-$2,500). Also in the original cloth is a first edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales, the scarcer “tall copy” with a wide two-inch bottom margin ($1,500-$2,500). A first American edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes novel, is offered, published in Philadelphia in 1890 and finely bound in modern full morocco ($2,000-$3,000).

First American edition of the first Sherlock Holmes novel

First American edition of the first Sherlock Holmes novel

PBA Galleries will offer a mimeographed typescript of John Steinbeck’s unpublished novella Lifeboat, created (and then hated) by Steinbeck in 1943 to serve as the basis for the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. After watching the finished film, Steinbeck disliked it so much that he asked to have his name removed from the credits. ($1,000-$1,500).

Other featured lots include Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel for young people, A Wrinkle in Time from 1962, the first edition, in an unrestored example of the earliest state of the dust jacket ($3,000-$5,000). Also for sale is the first impression, third state of the first edition of the culminating volume in J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King: Published in 1962, this volume is offered in the original dust jacket ($1,500-2,500).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, March 18th from 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 19th-20th from 9am-5pm, and Thursday, March 21st from 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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Fine Books: A Biblio-Medley for All Tastes

On Thursday, March 7th, PBA Galleries will offer a sale of Fine Books: A Biblio-Medley for All Tastes. On the auction block will be over 500 lots of books and other materials in all subject matters and all fields, from 15th century works on religion to modern illustrated books, with finely bound books, finely printed books, literature, history, Americana, travel, and much more.

First American edition of Johanna Spyri’s classic Heidi

First American edition of Johanna Spyri’s classic Heidi.

Highlights of the sale include rare materials from international print history. The section includes The Sermon on Saint Stephen by Ludovicus Imolensis, a scarce incunable printed by the renowned Stephan Plannck in Rome c.1488-1490 ($1,000-$5,000). Specimen Pages of Korean Moveable Types from Dawson’s Bookshop highlights the Korean invention of moveable metal type two hundred years before Gutenberg (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500). The Printed Quran displays stunning hand-illuminations heightened in gold and printed marginal notes ($4,000-$6,000).

In book arts, we have one of the greatest 19th century English color plates books: Picturesque Tour of the Seine by Jean Baptiste Balthazar Sauvan has 24 hand-colored aquatint plates and is one of only fifty large paper copies of the first edition ($4,000-$6,000).

Zane Grey’s Tales of the Angler’s Eldorado New Zealand, inscribed first edition

Zane Grey’s Tales of the Angler’s Eldorado New Zealand, inscribed first edition

Children’s and adolescent literature will be in the sale. The first American edition of Johanna Spyri’s classic Heidi, published in Boston in 1885, is virtually the earliest obtainable edition in the English language, due to the extreme rarity of the London edition ($1,000-$5,000). Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Waddle Book, published by Blue Ribbon Books in 1934, is complete with the four Waddle plates intact and bound in as issued, the brass pieces, the runway down which the characters waddle, the dust jacket, and the wrap-around band ($3,000-$5,000).

PBA Galleries has John Ashbery’s Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, created at the Arion Press in an edition of 175 copies, with lithographs, etchings and additional artwork by Richard Avedon, Jim Dine and others, all housed in a brushed stainless steel movie canister ($4,000-$6,000).

Printed Quran with hand-illuminations

Printed Quran with hand-illuminations

Other featured lots include: a first edition and family presentation copy of Zane Grey’s Tales of the Angler’s Eldorado New Zealand, inscribed by the author to his wife Dolly ($1,000-$1,500); and a rare copy of An American Genius: The Life of Ernest Orlando Lawrence, signed by over 40 scientists, veterans of the Manhattan Project, laboratory staff, and others, ten of them Nobel Laureates, in 1968 ($8,000-$12,000).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Tuesday and Wednesday, March 5th and 6th, 9am – 5pm and on Thursday, March 7th, 9-11 am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

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Early Anti-Mormon article in February 21st Americana sale

Millenial Harbinger – Early printed article in book form challenging Mormonism

Millenial Harbinger – Early printed article in book form challenging Mormonism

On Thursday, February 21st, PBA Galleries will offer a sale of Rare Americana, Travel & Exploration, Hawaiiana, World History and Cartography. On the auction block will be over 400 lots of rare, significant, and captivating material revealing the exploration, history, culture, ethnology, and geographic knowledge of the world, from the unknown western reaches of North America to the vast plains of central Asia, with a little bit of paradise in the South Sea. Includes are books, maps, prints, photographs, manuscript material, ephemera, and more.

The rare first two volumes of the Millennial Harbinger from Alexander Campbell’s Restoration Movement, which sought “the unification of all Christians in a single body patterned after the church of the New Testament.” The movement blossomed concurrently with, and competed with, Mormonism and many Campbellites leaving the fold to join the Mormons. In the second volume Campbell published his notable challenge to the tenets of Mormonism, called “Delusions” (pp. 85-97), which was issued separately in pamphlet form in 1832. Delusions is the important first printed article on Mormonism in book form. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.

History of Virginia – One of the earliest imprints of domestic history printed in America

History of Virginia – One of the earliest imprints of domestic history printed in America

A third edition of one of the earliest imprints of a domestic history printed in America, William Stith’s History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia, covers the history of the colony up to 1624. Printed in 1753 by William Parks in Williamsburg, the copy on offer bears the armorial bookplate of George Grenville, the “father of the Stamp Act,” so regarded for his institution of taxation of the American colonies when Prime Minister of Great Britain, causing widespread opposition. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000.

Two maps are featured in the sale. L’Europe divisée selon l’etendue de ses principales parties…, a spectacular 1761 hand-colored copper-engraved map of Europe is especially notable for its surrounding pictorial vignettes which include whaling in Nova Zemlya; bullfighting in Madrid; pillaging by Tartars; swordplay by Hungarians; and cockfighting by the English (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000).  A rare hand-drawn Civil War era map, likely of Confederate origin, depicts portions of Western Tennessee, Northern Alabama and Mississippi.  This was a key area of the western theater of the war, where the Battle of Shiloh was fought, bisected by the Tennessee River, crossed by several railroads. Identified are roads, rivers, river towns, railroad lines, rail stations, and cities (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

Autobiography of first African American major leaguer with long inscription

Autobiography of first African American major leaguer with long inscription

A number of lots relating to African-American history will be offered. Of particular interest in this section is the third cookbook by an African-American woman, Pauline’s Practical Book of the Culinary Art for Clubs, Home or Hotels. This very rare first edition contains an eclectic mix of 700 recipes and one hand-written recipe for Prince of Wales cake (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).  Jackie Robinson’s autobiography Wait Till Next Year, has a full-page presentation inscription from Robinson to David Wallerstein, and additionally inscribed by co-author Carl Rowan. Wallerstein was a theater executive and a member of the board of directors at McDonald’s Corp., where he invented the fast food chain’s large size fries (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

Other featured lots include:  a first edition of the official account of James Cook’s third and final voyage to the Pacific Ocean (Estimate: $$3,000-$5,000); Girolamo Benzoni’s history of the New World, Novae novi orbis historiae, 1578, revealing Spanish atrocities against the indigenous peoples of the West Indies, as well as against French settlers in Florida (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); and the 1886 first issue of J.M. Hutchings’ In the Heart of the Sierras, in a rare full morocco binding with gilt-lettered presentation from the author to the Board of Commissioners managing the Yosemite Valley (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Tuesday and Wednesday, February 19th and 20th, 9am – 5pm and on Thursday, February 21st, 9-11 am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

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Vladimir Nabokov Lepidopterology Archive Highlights the Book Fair Sale

Nabokov Archive

Nabokov Archive

On Thursday, February 7th, PBA Galleries will offer a very select assemblage of rare and collectible books, manuscripts, photographs, prints, and other items, ranging from the 16th to 21st centuries, and spanning a broad range of subject matter. The sale will be a prelude to the 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair with the sale at the venue of the fair.

The first seventy-five lots in the auction are donated by members of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and are sold for the benefit of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Benevolent Fund. The final one hundred lots comprise material consigned to PBA Galleries, ranging from antiquarian rarities by Aristotle and Thomas Hobbes to hard-boiled detection by Dashiell Hammett.

A highlight of the sale is a significant archive on novelist Vladimir Nabokov’s research into butterflies, which both pre-dated and was contiguous with his literary endeavors. He was successful in both fields – Nabokov’s importance as a lepidopterist is considered by many to equal that of his importance as a literary figure. Certainly, his literary works are vastly infused with passages and imagery of butterflies. The archive relates to Nabokov’s research on butterflies, particularly the Lepidoptera Lycaenidae, and includes a lengthy handwritten letter to a noted lepidopterist; inscribed reprints of articles by Nabokov; original sketches; and more. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.

Aristotle's Politiques or Discourses of Government

Aristotle’s Politiques or Discourses of Government

Two early political works are featured in the sale. The first edition in English of Aristotle’s Politiques, or, Discourses of Government, from 1598, is the earliest obtainable English language printing of Aristotle. One of the foundational texts of political theory, Aristotle analyzes the idea and possible forms of polity using his four causes and determines constitutional government to be the preferred form (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000). Fifty years later, the first edition of Thomas Hobbes’ seminal work on political philosophy, Leviathan, published in 1651, espouses the pessimistic view that man is a purely selfish creature (Estimate: $15,000-$25,000).

Literature highlights in the sale include: Dashiell Hammett’s first book, Red Harvest, inscribed and signed by Hammett with the advice, “keep a notebook and pencil – the story of the other fellows’ crime pays” (Estimate: $15,000-$25,000); the first edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, 1928, privately printed in Florence, Italy, one of 1000 copies signed by D.H. Lawrence (Estimate: $6,000-$9,000); and the first complete edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Kinder- und Haus-Märchen, consisting of the second edition of volumes 1 & 2, and the first edition of volume 3, 1819-1822 (Estimate: $12,000-$18,000).

First complete edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales

First complete edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Other featured lots in the sale are: a copy of the massive and spectacularly illustrated Voyage pittoresque de la Grece by the Comte de Choiseul-Gouffier, 3 volumes in 2, 1782-1822, with hundreds of fine engraved plates (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000); an exceptionally fine copy of the third edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, considered the most important biological book ever written, in bright original cloth (Estimate: $8,000-$12,000); and Following Abraham Lincoln by Bernhardt Wall, illustrated throughout with some 960 etchings printed in colored inks, a superb set in the original 85 volumes, hand-bound in boards by Wall, with dust wrappers, one of 100 copies (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000).

The sale will begin at 10:00 am Pacific Time, an hour earlier than PBA’s usual sale start time. The public may preview the auction Monday, February 4th, 1-5pm, Tuesday February 5th, 9am-5pm and on Wednesday, February 6th, 9am – noon at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. The sale and an additional preview on Thursday, February 7th, 8-10am will be held at the Oakland Marriott Civic Center Junior Ballroom, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, California. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

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Interesting and Uncommon Material on the History, Exploration, Cartography, and Culture of the Four Corners of the Globe

Original photos of sailing ships

Original photos of sailing ships

On Thursday, December 13th, PBA Galleries will host an Americana – Travel & Exploration – Hunting & Sporting – World History – Cartography Sale. Up for auction will be over 550 lots of rare, interesting and uncommon material on the history, exploration, cartography, and culture of the four corners of the globe, ranging from travels into the Ottoman Empire and the Levant to cattle drives in the American west. Included are books, manuscripts, photographs, ephemeral material, graphic items, and a wide range of maps. There is a special section of hunting and sporting books, many from the Derrydale Press.

Highlighted in this sale are some San Francisco related works such as, original photos of sailing ships, from the R.J. Waters Company of San Francisco, with some over 430 gelatin silver prints ($3,000-$5,000). A scarce Merry-makers Map of San Francisco, 1940, showing all the night clubs, saloons, fine restaurants, and other entertainment venues of “Baghdad by the Bay,” the streets crosded by men in suits and hates, and women in nothing at all ($1,200-$1,800).

Kaempfer's History of Japan, 1728

Kaempfer’s History of Japan, 1728

PBA will be offering a variety of world history material: a 4th century sculpture of the head of the world-conqueror Alexander the Great, this was from the ancient Gandhara civilization in present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan ($10,000-$15,000). Nicolas de Nicolay’s popular illustrated work on the Ottoman Empire, Les navigations peregrinations et boyages, faicts en la Turquie, 1576, with depictions of the various peoples under Turkish suzerainty ($5,000-$8,000). The History of Japan, by Engelbert Kaempfer, 2 volumes, 1728, with 45 engraved maps and plates, most folding or double page, a key work in shaping western perceptions of Japan ($5,000-$8,000).

The Americana section includes rare Civil War broadside advertising a concert organized by “The Ladies of Charleston” (South Carolina) to raise money for the construction of a gunboat for the Confederate Navy, which was to become the ironclad ram CSS Palmetto State ($2,000-$3,000). Helen H Taft’s memoirs, Recollections of Full Years, 1914, signed by her and her husband, President William Howard Taft, in a rare dual signing ($2,000-$3,000). Also an autographed note of love an affection from American patriot John Hancock to his wife in 1971 ($3,000-$5,000).

Lastly, to be featured is a hunting/sporting piece, a rare issue bound in full ion skin, of Rowland Ward’s Record of Big Game XIth Edition, 1962, one of an estimated 35 to 70 copies so bound ($1,000-$1,500).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, December 10th, 1 – 5 pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, December 11th and 12th, 9am – 5pm and on Thursday, December 13th, 9-11 am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

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